May 22, 2009

Bridging the Gap, Enlarging the Tent

This is indeed a challenge! How do we go about finding what it is that will bring Mennonite women of all ages together with a common vision for women's ministry in the church of today?

In recent months a group of seven women from across Canada have met several times as a Task Force appointed by Canadian Women in Mission (CWM) to discuss, explore and discover ways in which we can 'bridge the gap' and 'enlarge the tent'.

A devotional that was presented at one of our meetings was based on Acts 9:36-42, the recounting of how Jesus raised Tabitha/Dorcas from the dead. Tabitha was well know for 'always doing good and helping the poor' and her death was lamented loudly. But the story doesn't end there. Jesus raised Tabitha to new life! Similarly the Task force has been set up to find new and exciting ways through which CWM can be raised to new life.

We would like to hear from women of all ages from all across Canada about what they see as their mission. Are there new ways in which we can connect with each other as well as learn from and support each other?

The Task Force is inviting you to discuss ways in which the Spirit is working through women in the church. Here are some questions that you might want to consider. Your responses will help us discern the future direction which CWM takes.

1. What is your prayer/vision for Mennonite women in today's church and church of the future?
2. What activities or pursuits are Mennonite women being called to participate in?
3. What are some innovative ways Mennonite women of all ages across Canada can connect with each other?

Over the next few months the Task Force will be developing a survey which we hope to post on this blog as well as print in the Canadian Mennonite and distribute to Mennonite churches across Canada. We hope that everyone will participate. We need to hear from you!

As CWM strives to connect and nurture Mennonite women across Canada we as a Task Force ask for your prayers as we continue to look for ways to 'bridge the gap' and 'enlarge the tent'.

Posted by Liz Koop (on behalf of the Task Force) on May 22, 2009

1 comment:

  1. Those are big questions. I will try to answer the first one. These are some of the issues that I hope/pray that we as Mennonite women can actively engage over the next decade or two.

    1. What does it mean for us to really take the idea of faithful stewardship of the earth seriously? How can we disentangle ourselves from cultural messages that link consumption with identity? How can we support one another in saying no to the endless barrage of tech gadgets that falsely promise to make our lives better while creating a throw-away society whose pollution and garbage is an externalized cost borne primarily by powerless people in third-world countries? How can be learn to be satisfied with substantially less "stuff" and a less busy calendar? What kind of a witness might we provide to the world around us in so doing? What might it be like if we took seriously the example of the early Church who had everything in common? Do we really each need our own semi-detatched home(with a mortgage that will take 25 years to retire) on a cul-de-sac and two cars for a family of 4?

    2. The media tells young women on one hand that their bodies are fat and ugly, and on the other hand, that they need to be in a sexual relationship with a man in order to feel valued and worthwhile. When will we in the church learn to truly appreciate the gift of sexuality that God has given us, and to offer a much more hopeful vision of sexuality to our world, one that values all people regardless of sex, sexual orientation, shape and size, age, ethnicity, and marital status? When will we teach our sons and daughters that intimacy means far more than sex, that sexuality is a given for every human being, and that one does not have to be sexually active to prove oneself sexual or to prove oneself an adult?

    These are the two most critical issues that I believe we need to address. If I think of some more, I'll add them later.